Indie film puts local actor on the big screen

Burnsville actor Gabriele Angieri in a publicity still from the indie movie “Profile of a Killer.” Angieri plays a starring role as a retired FBI profiler kidnapped by a teenage serial killer.

Gabriele Angieri has
a starring role in
‘Profile of a

Hollywood megastar Samuel L. Jackson might have had himself another hit playing a kidnapped FBI man in the movie “Profile of a Killer.”

We’ll never know. Gabriele Angieri, a stage actor from Burnsville, got the part instead.

Jackson was supposed to play the role of retired FBI profiler Saul Aitken, who’s kidnapped by a teenage serial killer named David.

That was before writer-director Caspian Tredwell-Owen fell short of financing the $12 million picture. Undeterred, he brought his screenplay to Minnesota, hired Minnesota actors, shot Minnesota scenery and made his film for about $180,000.

“I’m probably quite a different Saul Aitken than Sam Jackson would have been,” said Angieri, 52, who auditioned in an open call posted with the Minnesota Film and Television Board. “But it was thrilling to get the part, to get cast out of all my peers. And it’s thrilling to actually have the movie be released and get some exposure, because I’m really proud of the work.”

“Profile of a Killer” debuted last November in Belgium, according to film website IMDb. It’s been shown on French and Dutch television and lately has been barnstorming its way through Twin Cities-area multiplexes.

“Profile of a Killer” wrapped up a three-week run April 4 at Regal Cinemas in Brooklyn Center. It’s now showing at  CEC Theatres’ Northwoods Cinema 10 in Owatonna. It will open today (Friday, April 26) at CEC’s Hudson 12 Theatre in Hudson, Wis., and at Marcus Cinemas in Hastings and Oakdale.

“The film has grown its own little legs,” Angieri said.

Tredwell-Owen, a British writer-director whose writing credits include 2003’s “Beyond Borders” (Angelina Jolie) and 2005’s “The Island” (Ewan McGregor, Scarlett Johansson), made his directing debut with “Profile of a Killer.”

His efforts to shop the film around Hollywood in 2007 and 2008 fell victim to the bad economy and suspicions that it was just another teen slasher flick, Angieri said.

“This is really not that,” he said. “This is really a psychological thriller. It’s almost like a coming-of-age story for this teenager, who’s just going about it the wrong way.”

The movie finds Aitken living in Florida, writing a book and giving the occasional lecture about his career, when he’s contacted by Washington County Sheriff Bob Fassernacht (Brooklyn Center actor John Kunik), who’s on the heels of a serial killer.

Aitken comes out of retirement only to be kidnapped by the killer himself, played by 18-year-old Minnesota actor Joey Pollari.

“Serial killers are typically abused as children or have some traumatic event happen to them,” Angieri said, adding that he researched the topic. “That’s not the case with this particular person. He’s just finding a way to make his mark. Obviously, he’s a little disturbed in some ways.

“But the majority of the film is really between myself and the young man, and I’m trying to convince him to stop what he’s doing while he’s trying to get me to profile him. He kidnaps me early in the film, and I’m held in captivity for 12 days before Christmas.”

Viewers may recognize some of the settings, which include locales in Hastings, Minneapolis, Cottage Grove and Stillwater. One scene was shot on Harriet Island in St. Paul. Filming was in December 2009, April 2010 and during the winter of 2011, said Angieri, who has but one film credit — a short feature — on his resume.

“I looked at the competition (for the part) and there were a lot of actors working at the Guthrie, a lot of actors doing other film stuff,” he said. “I’m a neophyte.”

Growing up in New York City, Angieri acted in junior high and high school and earned a theater degree from Queens College. His theater work after college included playing Jesus in a New York production of “Godspell.”

But Angieri — a recently laid-off construction manager for Best Buy — took a long hiatus from acting while raising a family.

He resumed his craft about eight years ago, earning roles in Northfield Arts Guild productions and then with Park Square Theater, Nimbus Theatre, Theatre in the Round and the The Playwrights’ Center.

Angieri lives in Burnsville with his second wife Faith and their 3-year-old daughter.

“I am looking for work in construction management,” he said. “At the same time, I’m looking for acting work as well. I figure it’s a good time to explore that a little bit.”

“Profile of a Killer” has a Facebook page:

Katy Zillmer of Sun Post Newspapers contributed to this article.